My paintings, drawings and constructions are fueled by life experience and Nature. I work intuitively combining, editing and re-combining marks into compositions that are unexpectedly recognizable. I don’t set out to tell a story but my many years as an illustrator inevitably weave their way into my work.
My process combines conventional art materials with home construction materials and tools. I paint with fluid acrylics on wood panels. The hard surface allows me to aggressively scrape and sand into the paint. My work on paper makes use of a childhood school technique of drawing with crayons and ink. I’ve also been making botanical-like constructions from shapes cut out of thin plywood held by large cardboard form tubes. The plywood cut outs replicate shapes I use in my paintings. The cut outs and tubes are painted with simple patterns that can also be found in my paintings.
Public art and murals are exciting new avenues for me. Current technology allows me to reproduce my work in any scale and install it on interior or exterior surfaces. New materials for printing are durable and come in many surfaces and finishes. They stand up to daily use for years, even installed on floors. I’m doing projects that use my existing portfolio of artwork in addition to creating site specific commissions.
A 1975 graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, Mike McConnell worked for more than 30 years as an illustrator before focusing on his fine art. He often turns to nature for inspiration for the vivid visual stories he tells. He uses paint in a collage-like way, cutting out shapes with vibrant colors on handmade wood panels, paper, and found material.
McConnell won the President’s Best of Show award for the 2016 Biennial Maryland Regional Juried Art Exhibition for his painting Bear Carver. He is also a 2016 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award winner and a 2017 finalist for the 13th Annual Bethesda Painting Awards.
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) Bachelor of Fine Arts
Upcoming, Étude in See, Montpelier Arts Center, Laurel, MD, April 7 - May 27, 2018
Upcoming, Cutting Into Art, (Catalog), UMUC Arts Program Gallery, University of Maryland University College, College Park, MD, December 10, 2017 - February 18, 2018
Elsewhere, BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD, April 29 - June 10, 2017
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, March 10 - May 5 2017
California, Greenbelt Community Center Art Gallery
Crayons, Creative Alliance Amalie Rothschild Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Baltimore County Arts Guild, Baltimore, MD
Flip Side, Athenaeum Gallery, Alexandria, VA
Pentimento, School 33 Arts Center Members Gallery, Baltimore, MD
University of Baltimore Student Center Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Bethesda Painting Awards Finalist Exhibition, Juried by Don Kimes, Trace Miller and Dr. Cole Welter, Bethesda, MD, June 7 - July 1, 2017
Art Maryland 2016, Juried by Christopher Bedford, Howard County Arts Council, Ellicott City, MD
MAP's 35th Annual Exhibition
Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
3rd Biennial Maryland Regional Juried Art Exhibit, College Park, MD
Second Annual Athenaeum Invitational, Athenaeum Gallery, Juried by Twig Murray, Alexandria, VA
Maryland Artist Registry Juried Exhibition, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
Art in Motion: The 25th Annual Strathmore Juried Exhibition, Strathmore Mansion, North Bethesda, MD
The Athenaeum Invitational, Athenaeum Gallery, Juried by Twig Murray, Alexandria, VA
Hamilton Street Club, Two Person Show, Baltimore, MD
Spatial Conversations, Creative Alliance Amalie Rothschild Gallery, Two Person Show, Baltimore, MD
B¡NGO, Platform Gallery First Annual Juried Exhibition, Juried by Deana Haggag, Stewart Watson, and Cara Ober, Baltimore, MD
57th Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Juried by Jerry Saltz, Chautauqua, NY
Transformations: From One Thing to Another, McLean Project for the Arts, Juried by Jack Rasmussen, McLean, VA
2nd Biennial Maryland Regional Juried Art Exhibit, College Park, MD
13th Annual Bethesda Painting Awards Finalist
1st Place: President's Best of show Award
3rd Biennial Maryland Regional Juried Art Exhibit
Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award
Best in Show, Lotta Art, School 33 Art Center
Juror's Honorable Mention, 57th Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Juried by Jerry Saltz
PUBLICATIONS AND PRESS